There is a lot of talk of Fibromyalgia these days as this chronic condition is becoming ever more common throughout the world, affecting approximately 2 to 4 percent of Americans, mostly females.
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common musculoskeletal disorder, and although much research is being done on the subject, the cause is still unknown. Research suggests that fibromyalgia is a disorder in how the body processes pain and some argue that it a mental health issue, but what is for certain is that people with fibromyalgia have a hypersensitivity to sensations that are not painful to the majority of people.
Fibromyalgia generally manifests as pain and stiffness in the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the joints throughout the body and is often accompanied by overall bodily fatigue; sufferers will find symptoms very debilitating and may even lead to bouts of depression.
Originally FMS was known in the medical field as Fibrositis, implying the presence of inflammation in the muscles, however more recent research has proved that this is not the case. It is theorised that genetics may play a role in predisposing people to this pain processing disorder.
FMS increases and decreases in severity at different times and so far there is no specific permanent cure, although Fibromyalgia does improve with active treatment, and therefore ongoing pain management therapy should be considered rather than treatment of a single episode or “flare-up”.
Erik Dalton, a renowned remedial practitioner and pioneer in Myoskeletal therapy says – “The first line of defense for relieving basic fibromyalgic symptoms should be body therapy and exercise”.
Although pain from this condition primarily manifests in specific areas throughout the body depending on the person, such as the neck and shoulders (although but eventually the entire body may become affected), it is important to seek out a trained manual therapist who treats the whole body to restore function, and avoid merely treating isolated areas or focusing on “chasing the pain”…
One of the known triggers often exacerbating the symptoms is STRESS, and so any deep-tissue techniques that incorporate active client movements add additional therapeutic benefits by calming central nervous system hyperactivity and lowering sympathetic response, which will help with stress, greatly benefiting those with Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndromes.
Along with stress it is thought that illness, trauma, hormonal imbalances and other environmental factors may also induce symptoms which may actually resemble other medical conditions or problems, so it is important to consult a doctor if you feel that you may be suffering from Fibromyalgia.
Symptoms may include tender points and a burning or throbbing pain, stiffness or aching all over your body, specifically headaches; Poor circulation with numbness or tingling in your arms and legs; Irritability, trouble sleeping and constant tiredness or fatigue; Bowel problems such as bloating, diarrhea and constipation among other things.
It may be very hard to deal with the pain caused by FMS and you will be likely tempted to reach for the prescription medication and pain relieving drugs, (which may be your only option for the short term), however, commit to getting regular light exercise, taking time out to reduce your stress levels, avoid certain foods such as an excess of refined sugar or the sugar substitute Aspartame; caffeine, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
You may even find it encouraging to joining up with a Fibromyalgia support group in your area to get through the toughest of times and support others who also suffer from this condition.
Above all stay positive!
In conclusion, the best known management of Fibromyalgia symptoms and common triggers are alternative treatments like Acupuncture and Massage Therapy and I recommend including these into your pain management routine to help you live a normal life without medications.
Fairfield Massage Therapy offers holistic remedial treatments that have been effective with easing and in many cases eradicating a majority of symptoms for clients who have been living with the effects of Fibromyalgia.
Book in online or call to see if we may be able to assist you live pain free.